GRAPHIC NOVEL
School Rumble
Volume 4

Author: Jin Kobayashi
Artist: Jin Kobayashi
Tanoshima
RRP: 5.99, US $10.95
ISBN-13: 978 0 099 50633 1
ISBN-10: 0 09 950633 5
Ages: 13+
Available 01 February 2007


Cute Tsukamoto Tenma is desperately trying to help juvenile delinquent classmate Harima Kenji win the girl of his dreams: Tenma's friend Mikoto. But when Tenma hears Kenji tell someone else that he loves them, she begins to have serious doubts about Kenji's loyalties. Now, in an abandoned school in the middle of the woods on a rainy night, Tenma is ready to confront him one-on-one about his infidelities. Little does she know that she has totally misread the situation, and that the love-crazed punk has actually developed a hopeless crush on her...

Volume 4 of School Rumble sees poor old Harima Kenji still unable to make the girl of his dreams, Tsukamoto Tenma, realise that he is in love with her. In fact for a brief period he even gives up all hope of wooing his love interest, after he overhears her calling him the lowest human being. However, being School Rumble, it's not long before the heartbroken Kenji has twisted events and convinced himself that Tenma was actually paying him a compliment.

But why all the confusion in the first place? Why is Tenma angry with Kenji? Well, Tenma thinks that Kenji has been telling more than one girl that he loves them. From this she gets the mistaken idea that Kenji is just desperate to get himself a girl. As always, nothing could be further from the truth. Okay, he is desperate for a girlfriend, but only one girl will do.

The main highlight for me in this volume was Kenji's return to conversing with nature. Here we see him with numerous wild animals - including a lion and a giraffe - which he has to hide from the public at large.

As with previous releases in this series, there is an extensive section on translation notes - that explain some of the cultural references that might otherwise be lost on a western readership; as well as a preview of Volume 5.

Another slice of entertainment - Jin Kobayashi style.

Amber Leigh

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